My father is resting alone
beneath the sacred lights, while
I cradle in dismay, surrounded by
Elders coercing me to compose
and read him a eulogy at the altar.
His hands are cold, tender
yet embalmed. Mine are temperate,
condemning this filial bond
in this ceremonial hour.
The wind howls his favourite hymns,
tongues biting sorrows,
sweet roses turned raven black.
I prayed for echoing scars,
the weight on my shoulder,
tears dissolving in holy water,
his blood and mine.
Nails plow the dove-white
covenant. Bidding farewell,
I inhale the scent of his remains,
the final grain of our memory. If
heaven exists, let us empty
the glass of Eternal wine
before mortal sickness creeps in,
laying unfinished sentiments
Deborah Wong is a published writer. Her poems and short stories have been published in Banana Writers, Crack The Spine, Streetcake Magazine, East Jasmine Review, The Stray Branch, Eksentrika, Thought Catalog and other international and local online journals and magazines. She reads poetry submissions at Eastlit and writes literary related articles at Thiscene. She was born in Kuala Lumpur and lives in Subang Jaya, Malaysia with her family and a nine-year-old feminist calico cat. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @PetiteDeborah.
Illustration by Wai Yan Su @wyanny